But for the family with a mind toward the future—or the hyper-connected present—the Q7’s real killer app is literally its killer app: the latest generation of MMI, Audi’s Multi-Media Interface infotainment system. With a brilliantly sharp central display screen, a smart Virtual Cockpit instrument panel screen that’s just as crisp and colorful, and twin Nvidia Tegra 30 processors doing supercomputer operations on the navigation, entertainment, and other data, and LTE connectivity on the go, the 2016 Q7 is a tech-head’s dream.
If you’d like to know more, we’ve covered the new MMI system and the Virtual Cockpit in detail already—so go bone up. There’s even a head-up display (HUD) that relays crisp, clear versions of the navigation and vehicle information right onto the windscreen.
For the tech-heads in training, there’s also an available rear-seat entertainment option that essentially slaps a pair of tablets to the back of the front seats—it’s an elegant look and one that iPad-obsessed kids will instantly recognize. Second-row space, too, is ample, both for kids and adults. The seats recline for greater comfort, while leg room and head room are abundant even for my long-legged 6’2” frame.
Cargo space behind the second row is good, and the third-row seats (only for smaller kids—there’s just no real leg room for anyone larger) are power-operated, allowing them to be raised or lowered by a button accessible from the rear hatch area. Cargo management is provided by two rails and accessories that attach to provide both a hard fence and a soft net, allowing all sorts of configurations for securing various items.
I only had a day and a half with the Q7, and while it was enough to get a good feel for the crossover’s driving characteristics, materials quality, and an initial take on the technology, it’s such a richly featured vehicle that it would take at least a week to fully appreciate everything it has to offer—and I’d love to spend that week with it.
What I did come away with, however, was a surprisingly good impression of the Q7’s handling and driving enjoyment, as well as an appreciation for its flexibility, luxury, and usefulness as a family-transporting masterpiece.
Note: an early version of this story had the new Q7 as a 2016 model, but Audi has since confirmed the later model year.